Monsoon Moods – A meditation by the sea

City-weary, TISHA SRIVASTAV spent a week at Kaup, a coastal hamlet near Udupi in southwestern Karnataka. With leisurely walks, a brooding sea and a dramatic monsoon, she returned refreshed. This is her story of the monsoon and the sea at play and what we can witness if we tune in.


“Goodness, Iris, sometimes its good to bask at the sea, the sea. The seams scatter and the sea breeze begins to …

 'Then I felt too that I might take this opportunity to tie up a few loose ends, only of course loose ends can never be properly tied, one is always producing new ones. Time, like the sea, unties all knots.'

I wanted to say to Iris Murdoch, whose novel this is a quote from: “Goodness, Iris, sometimes its good to bask at the sea, the sea. The seams scatter and the sea breeze begins to untie. What’s tangled up in more than a shade of urbane blue?”

 It’s wild here in Kaup, southwestern coastal Karnataka. One part and parcel of a peninsular nation with a 7,400-km coastline.  If one describes the monsoon technically then Monsoon is a wind system in which the prevailing wind direction is reversed from season to season. Stand by the shore and watch the sea rake up the mud, whacking the butt of the piece of earth humans call land. And one can feel the great universal dhobi leading this reversal.

Deep cleansing, milky drama. Of another season. Mistily upon you in a way that only some might dare call beautiful. Especially not those, I suppose, who come only when the oceans are blue and gentle. But this is the vital fury of a sea left to itself. And looking at this, I’m reminded of craggy cliffs we used to draw in school as  ‘nature’ art class homework.

Until I take a deep breath and am distracted back whack into this school of LIFE.

We also used to draw a full diamond shaped-sun for some tropical reason. But here, you might think this is the moon. But what it is, is the sun saying peek-a-baby boo!
For its role is best played in hide-and-seek during the monsoon. While waves bash rocks and surf. And clouds gang up. This universe of shifting directions unravels with many a sign. All of them have one thing in common – it’s time to let go of the placid and bring it on.

And bring what on? Baarish, megha, barkha... rain is a consequence, an effect of much hectic activity that precedes it. In the city the rain comes from above and mixes with the earth and fills us up where there is less concrete. Human beings instinctively look up to the clouds. But the open coast interrupts this top-down loving with a breadth of protagonists.

The mist swirls over the rocks and spreads like a subtle blur that goes pandemic.

When she pounds, the hues are loud and clear. But there are many subtle signs, which speak in connection to the next sign and one knows in exactly how many minutes she's going to come over again. She claims everything as her own at this time unrelentingly. It’s best to sense and surrender and not be the fisherman who also goes in from sheer force of habit. Only to come out with too little to be called a catch or return empty handed. Its trust-in-wait season for you. The signs shift quickly but the season has its own time.    


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